Early American settlers contributed to the formation of five ghost town sites in what is now Washington County - possibly more than any other county of the state.
Several of these were near old St. Stephens. The ghost town of Franklin was one of these communities built in 1802. Another was Carrollton and a third was Rodney Town.
Wakefield, near McIntosh, was settled in 1804 and was the county seat for a number of years. A former vice president of the United States, Aaron Burr, was arrested there.
McIntosh Bluff or Tomechette Bluff off County Road 35 on the banks of the Tombigbee River was the capitol of the Tohomee Indians. The site later became the earliest American settlement north of the 31st parallel in Alabama and was the first county seat of Washington and Baldwin counties.
Autauga County has three old ghost towns. Washington, settled in 1818, was the first seat of government when the county was delineated by the second territorial legislature in 1818. This abandoned site can be found four miles south of Prattville on 10 acres of land.
The ghost settlement of Old Milton can be located one mile southeast of the present Milton. This community, active between 1820 and 1880, was abandoned due to the flooding of Mulberry Creek.
Old Kingston is a deserted site on 15 acres adjacent to the present day town of Kingston. The ghost town, between 1827 and 1868, was the second seat of Autagua County.
Ecour Rouge, in Baldwin County near Montrose, was settled in the 1500s and was possibly the first European colony in the United States according to some researchers.
The Spaniard Tristan de Luna had a colony here in the mid 1500s but later withdrew to St. Augustine, Florida in 1565.
The community of Rock Run flourished between 1874 and the mid 1920s around the Rock Run Mine and furnace in Cherokee County. Other nearby sites are Langdon and Stonewall.
Begun as the Civil War site of Fort Stonewall and later developed into a busy river port, Choctaw Bluff is located on the west bank of the Alabama River between the Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers. There are no remains today.
The town of Union, north of Lineville on Nubbin Creek in Clay County, was once called Dog Town. This 1917 community was active in logging and turpentine production up until 1920s. A few homes remain today.
Sparta, in Conecuh County, thrived from 1820-1866 as the county seat and it was from here that the Conecuh Guards organized during the Civil War. After the courthouse burned in 1866 the town slowly dissolved.
In Cullman County the ghost town site of Loretto can be found off Interstate 65.
A well and school steps are about all that remains of this community which was founded by German Benedictine monks.
The prosperous town of Bolivar, located nine miles northeast of Stevenson in Jackson County, slowly faded after the railroad was rerouted. The community reached its peak in 1819.
Residents still make up some of the old town of Triana just south of the Huntsville Airport in Madison County. Built in 1819, this town was once a busy port on the Tennessee River but when railroads drew most of the river business the town began to fail.
One mile south of the present town of Bear Creek on State Road 5 and 172 was located the old town in 1855. Known as Factory Falls, the community was a large textile manufacturing center before the Civil War. It was abandoned in 1880 when the railroad bypassed to the north.
Vienna was once located along the Tombigbee River near Pickensville in Pickens County. This mid-19th century river port thrived as the terminus of a stage line from Tuscaloosa.
An old grist mill is about all that remains of the Louina Trading Post in Randolph County. This site was established in 1830 on the west bank of the Tallapoosa River by an Indian woman.
The trading post developed into a small town for its day and was later known as Hunter's Ferry and was sold in 1836 when the Indians were removed west.